This morning I drove all the way to Lakeside to play polo, got there, turned around, drove to the YMCA, and went swimming instead. Driving past my horses, as they merrily chomped breakfast in their corrals, I was seized by the large claw of lacka-wanna. It stemmed from my now officially diagnosed “floating shoulder-blade,” the erratic way it affects every polo swing I make (especially depressing yesterday during practice), and the virtually nil chance the severed nerves will regenerate.
This was my dearly-loved and super-competitive Chloe’s parting gift to me weeks ago. In one of our final games before she died, she unwittingly dumped me by suddenly turning for the ball when I was turning my weight the opposite way so we could head off an opponent. That embarassing face-plant on the field left me paralyzed for half a minute.
So I must deal with this turn of events. Off the polo field I’ll continue re-habbing the muscles around my shoulder blade but (following my orthopedic surgeon’s advice) pressing it back hard against the chair or bench, trying to keep it from turning at an angle (“floating”) when I raise my right arm. On the polo field I’ll continue trying to re-teach my bundle of shoulder muscles, hoping they’ll finally acquire new muscle-memories for mallet strokes.
For non-polo friends who’ve seen my fanatic love for the game make me dismiss the notion of quitting it, you’ve now got my attention. For polo-playing friends on whose team I’m assigned, please continue to be patient with my inconsistent performance– at least for a while.
I’ve been told there’s life after polo, and today I gave it some thought.